In General

EU trade deals mean increased exports, more stable economic relations and secure access to resources. EU exports to preferential partners for the first time surpassed €1 trillion in 2021, according to the Commission’s 2nd Annual Report on the Implementation and Enforcement of EU Trade Agreements.

Making the most of trade agreements and their effective implementation is becoming increasingly important: for example, 44% of the EU’s trade took place under preferential trade agreements in 2021, with this expected to rise to 47.4% with the incorporation of agreements currently under adoption or ratification.

The United Kingdom has become the EU’s largest preferential partner (roughly 23%), replacing Switzerland (around 15%), followed
by Turkey (8%), Norway (around 7%) and Japan (6-7%). Together, these five partners accounted for almost 60% of EU preferential trade in 2021. The United Kingdom is also the EU’s third largest trading partner overall (behind China and the U.S.) while Switzerland comes fourth.

In 2020, 94% of all EU companies exporting (i.e. 631.000) were SMEs. At the same time, their exports only represented 31% of the total value of all exports by European companies. The Commission continues its efforts to help SMEs make the most of trade rules and agreements. The Commission’s platform Access2Markets offers practical information for businesses that want to import or export goods. Information on exports covers tariffs, taxes, procedures and formalities for 135 export markets, rules of origin, statistics and trade barriers. Similar information is available for imports into the EU, namely tariffs, taxes, import requirements, rules of origin and statistics from all over the world.

Whats’ NEW on Access2Markets:

✓ + 13 additional export markets outside the EU (now 135) and 190 source markets;
✓ Full information on EU-UK trade since 1 January 2021;
✓ Extension of the Rules of Origin Self-Assessment Tool (ROSA);
✓ Guidance on EU sanctions against Russia and Belarus and information for EU importers on Russian and Belarusian export restrictions;
✓ My TRADE Assistant for Services & Investment: Helps EU companies interested in providing legal services in the United Kingdom or Canada, to locate information on various requirements such as on licensing and authorisation, qualifications, legal form, nationality or residency conditions.

Helping EU businesses to exploit preferential trade arrangements, i.e. reduction/elimination of tariffs or other cost related to regulatory alignment is at the heart of Enterprise Europe Network. Services helping EU companies to exploit trade opportunities abroad will be fully integrated into the ‘Network’s Client Journey’. Contact Enterprise Europe Brussels for advice on that topic.

Source – DG Trade – Report on EU Free Trade Agreements


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